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Breakfast Habits to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight, Say Experts

If you're eager to slim down, it's time to ditch these morning meal habits now.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—but in many cases, your morning meal may be the one that makes or breaks your weight loss efforts. However, it's not just downing donuts day after day that can have a profoundly negative impact on your weight. Experts say that many of the seemingly innocuous breakfast habits you're engaging in on a regular basis could be hindering your weight loss—or even causing the numbers on the scale to move in the wrong direction. If you want to get your healthy living efforts back on track, read on to discover the worst breakfast habits for weight loss, according to experts. And if you want to slim down the healthy way, start with these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.

Drinking only coffee for breakfast

Senior woman using a digital tablet and having coffee on the sofa at home.

While you may find yourself short on time in the morning, having only coffee for your first meal can prove detrimental to your weight loss efforts in the long run.

"Replacing a nourishing breakfast with coffee may seem efficient, but you're actually missing out on some key nutrients like protein, fiber, and antioxidants from food," says Amy Davis, RD, LDN.

Without these essential nutrients, you may find yourself feeling sluggish or looking for foods that provide quick energy later on.

Breakfast Habits That Help With Weight Loss, Say Experts

Eating processed cereals

cereal bowl

While grabbing a bowl of sugary cereal may be enough to temporarily quell your hunger, doing so may eventually backfire.

"These products lack nutrition and contain very little fiber, leaving you starving not long after! You should be opting for wholegrain cereals, such as rolled oats," says obesity specialist Nick Fuller, PhD, a research program leader at the University of Sydney's Boden Collaboration for Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders and founder of Interval Weight Loss.

RELATED: The #1 Best Breakfast Food to Eat After 50, Says Dietitian

Drinking only juice

woman drinking an organic green smoothie

It's true that fresh-pressed juices may be hydrating and contain nutrients, but Fuller says they're a poor choice of breakfast for most people.

"Calories from liquid are not as satiating," says Fuller. "When you juice or blend, you do not get the same filling effect when compared to eating the whole food. Plus, a large glass of juice will typically have 2.5 times the energy content and one-third the fiber content of a piece of fruit."

Adding too much sugar to your coffee

Whipped cream

While black coffee may have negligible calories on its own, those sugary additions you're making to it can seriously derail your weight loss.

"Whether it be from a ton of real sugar via cane syrup sweeteners, or from multiple colorful packets of non-nutritive sweeteners, having your taste buds start the day off super sweet is not ideal. It sets your body up to crave sugar later on during the day," says Marissa Meshulam, MS, RD, CDN, founder of MPM Nutrition. Meshulam also notes that by starting your day with an ultra-sweet beverage, healthier sweets like fruit won't taste as satisfying.

Not eating enough fiber

breakfast sausage links with fried eggs

If you want to ensure that you're not famished by noon, it's important to make sure you're eating plenty of fiber at breakfast.

"Diets rich in dietary fiber have been shown to be beneficial for reducing fat mass. Pairing a fiber source (fruit, vegetable, or whole grain) with breakfast helps to maintain blood sugar levels and manage hunger throughout the day," says Dana Norris, MS, RD, of Eleat Sports Nutrition.

For some easy ways to stay full for longer, check out the 43 Best High-Fiber Foods For a Healthy Diet, and for the latest healthy eating news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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